Popular stationery facilitates learning endeavors


Hansika Gautama

Like freshman Sirichandana Yakkala, many students use mechanical pencils to do their work in class.

Hansika Gautama, Staff Writer

From blue ballpoint pens to brightly colored highlighters, stationery takes various forms in students’ lives. When taking notes for school or hobbies like bullet journaling and scrapbooking, students enjoy using aesthetic supplies to add flare. School supplies motivate students to learn, impact participation and provide hands-on learning. Here are students’ top three favorite stationery supplies, according to a poll of 112 students. 

Mechanical Pencils

The most liked stationery item is mechanical pencils, with 34 students picking this option. Mechanical pencils can provide consistency and precision, so students enjoy using them to write. 

“They’re really convenient to use because, with normal pencils, you need to [sharpen] them and the lead wears down,” junior Briana Campoverde said. “If you have the lead right there and change it, it’s less of a hassle.”

With normal pencils people would need to buy separate rubber grips, but many mechanical pencil brands have grips included. 

“The grip on mechanical pencils is much better than actual wooden pencils, so it’s nicer to have that grip,” Campoverde said. 

Popular mechanical pencil brands include Bic, Paper Mate, Pentel and Kuru Toga. These brands are known for being relatively cheap and coming in bulk. 

“The typical brand I use is Paper Mate,” Campoverde said. “I love those because the eraser is really good. It comes in packs and I like the colors.”


Pens are a classic item in students’ pencil cases and come with a variety of colors and designs. Twenty students voted that pens are their favorite stationery supply since they are long-lasting and don’t smudge easily after the ink dries. Compared to pencils with gray graphite, pens come in rich ink tones like deep blue or jet black.

“When [using] a pen versus a pencil, there’s a higher contrast against the white page so that you can see it better,” freshman Rachel Meyers said. “Pens are nicer to write with, physically, because it moves on the paper nicer and it’s easier to see, so it pops out more.”

Even though pens are generally found in stores, popular retailers include Office Depot, Target and Walmart. They contain many high-quality pen brands, which include Papermate, Pentel, Bic and Pilot. These pens are durable and come in several types, but many students enjoy using ballpoint, click, gel or rollerball pens. 

“I like Bic pens and Papermate Inkjoy,” Meyers said. “Ballpoint pens are my favorite because they’re just smoother and move nicer.” 


Highlighters can be perfect for adding a bright pop of color to spice up a black-and-white page of notes. Eighteen students selected highlighters as their favorite stationery item. Using highlighters to color-code, design flashy titles, create decorative borders or highlight keywords can be great for organizing topics and ideas within a page.

“My favorite stationery item is probably highlighters, and that’s because they elevate your notes because if you’re just using a pen or pencil, it just looks kind of plain,” freshman Srimayi Sriram said. “Using highlighters and color really makes your notes stand out and improves their usability.” 

Among avid stationery lovers, Zebra Mildliners are one of the high-quality brands. Although they are slightly expensive compared to brands like Sharpie, Zebra Mildliners are double-sided and offer a chisel nib and a bullet tip; some special packs also come with brush tips. The classic 15 pack of mildliners is priced around $17.99 and are found at any craft store or online.

“Even if I don’t own Zebra Mildliners, I’ve seen other people use them and they are versatile,”  Sriram said. “The color sticks out, and the highlighter dries quickly as well.”

Basic stationery features in students’ lives, but many enjoy using aesthetic supplies to make studying and note-taking more fun. 

“High school life can get messy and hard especially while studying,” Sriram said. “But aesthetic stationery, in my opinion, makes it creative and artsy, which makes it so much better.”